Preparing for mediation is important to everyone. The absence of prepared participants often leads to frustration in the Common Room and anger in the Caucus Rooms.
Mediation Resolves has essentially eliminated the document preparation process.
We do not require the entirety of the record to be sent to us in advance. We are primarily interested in the issue as it stands at the present. Related documents, however, are welcome at the mediation as a reference for the participants.
Mediation Resolves does not ask for written briefs either before or after mediation.
Participant preparation takes a little time and is centered around setting expectations and ground rules. Arriving at a mediation without knowing what to expect is clearly a drawback.
Our recommendations are:
Inform all those who are affected by the mediation that it is taking place, and why.
Ensure that everyone needed is present and informed of the purpose of the mediation.
Assure that the lead person for each party has the authority to resolve the dispute.
Arrange for teleconferencing if someone cannot attend in person. We ask that all parties agree beforehand when someone is going to join via video or phone.
Plan to expect the unexpected. Hearing new information or settlement options is the norm. New ideas are opportunities, not hindrances or irritations.
Set aside tactics that are designed to win and to beat up the other guy. Mediation is not litigation. And mediation does not declare winners and losers. Mediation is a process of equal gains.
Spend time thinking through your approach with your team beforehand. Brainstorm alternative options and new "what ifs" in advance of the mediation.